CORRECTS TO SECOND HALF - Southeastern Louisiana linebacker Alexis Ramos (30) and defensive back Xavier Lewis (7) tackle Mississippi quarterback Matt Corral (2) during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Oxford, Miss., Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019. Mississippi won 40-29. (AP Photo/Thomas Graning)
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OXFORD, Miss. (AP) — Matt Corral threw for two touchdowns and the Mississippi defense made a pair of game-saving stops on downs in the final six minutes as the Rebels defeated Southeastern Louisiana 40-29.

Corral finished 21 of 30 for 239 yards and directed a pair of fourth quarter field goal drives that preserved the Ole Miss (2-1) win over the FCS Lions (1-1). Jerrion Ealy added two touchdowns, a 94-yard kickoff return and a 30-yard run, to finish with 273 all-purpose yards.

Southeastern Louisiana, trailing 34-29, drove inside the 50-yard line twice in the final period before the drives ended. Virgil Kelly threw for 309 passing yards and two touchdowns on 29-of-44 passing, but was intercepted three times.

The Rebels never trailed but could not break away from the Lions despite rolling up 459 yards of total offense, including a game-high 103 rushing yards by Scottie Phillips. Corral threw touchdown passes of 9 and 5 yards to Elijah Moore and Jason Pellerin, respectively.

Kelly threw touchdown passes of 45 and 5 yards to Juwan Petit-Frere and Bransen Schwebel, respectively, in the third quarter to pull the Lions within 34-29.

THE TAKEAWAY

Southeastern Louisiana: A loss to an SEC team did nothing to hurt the reputation of a solid FCS program from a strong conference, the Southland. The Lions rallied from a 17-point deficit in the third quarter and were more than competitive throughout. Devonte Williams finished with 206 all-purpose yards, but was limited in the final period.

Ole Miss: The consistency of Phillips was complemented by continued improvement of Corral and the big-play versatility of true freshman Ealy. Defensively, the Rebels struggled, but made enough big plays - three interceptions, a fumble recovery and two late stops on fourth down - and Luke Logan added fourth-quarter field goals of 22 and 32 yards to seal it.

UP NEXT

Southeastern Louisiana: The Lions visit Lamar in a Southland Conference game on Saturday.

Ole Miss: The Rebels continue non-conference play by hosting undefeated California on Saturday.